I started playing Minecraft, but I was hampered by a nearly complete lack of instructions. It’s a fun open-world sandbox game, but it’s easy to get frustrated until you know how to control things.

Here is a basic control summary, targetted for people unfamiliar with normal game controls. It’s based on my limited experience with the Mac standalone executable version Alpha 1.1.2 in single player “free weekend while the website is down” mode.

I’m playing on a laptop without a right mouse button: ctrl-clicking is the same as a right button click, just like everywhere else in Mac land.

The most commonly used controls:

  • Look around using the mouse pointer
  • Move using the standard WASD keys
    • W moves forward
    • S moves backward
    • A slides left
    • D slides right
  • Jump using the space bar: you can jump one block high, to climb hills
  • 0-9 select the on-screen inventory item slots. 
  • Left click to destroy the block (or creature, aka “mob”) you’re pointing at. The most important clue: press and hold the left button to break blocks, don’t click it rapidly.
  • Right click (ctrl-click) to place the currently selected block where you’re pointing
  • I opens your inventory
    • I or esc to close inventory
    • left click to pick stuff up
    • right click to pick up half a stack
    • left click to put stuff down somewhere else in your inventory
    • right click to put down one item from a stack

I’ve also found that multitouch on the Mac scrolls through the 0-9 inventory slots, and it can zoom your screen in and out if you have ctrl pressed. I don’t find this useful, but it was an explanation for why “weird things” happened when I didn’t realize I was resting another finger on the touch pad.

I don’t want to spoil very much, but staying alive for a few days is important if you want to make any progress. Skip this section if you prefer a challenge or know how to use Google search. Penny-Arcade provided a good summary introduction to Minecraft with a good starting strategy for “survival mode” (single player): build a shelter as
soon as possible, without any human-sized entrances. When night falls, wait in there to avoid the zombies.

It’s good to build a shelter near where you started the game, since that’s where you’ll return after you die. You might build a spire above it so you can find it from a distance: the map can be confusing until you get used to it, and you’ll want to get home quickly as night falls.

The Minepedia has an excellent introduction to crafting, providing a useful reference during gameplay. You need tools to mine stone, and need a workbench to make tools, so start by knocking down some trees and collecting logs. A workbench and tools will also give you stuff to do at night.

If you know me in real life and want to play on my server, send me an e-mail.

Malifaux Update

I’ve taken a break from painting DBA models, and finished some more Malifaux figures.

Here is Ramos with his mechanical minions.  I’ve added another Steampunk Arachnid Swarm and an Electrical Creation.  I’ve always used Johann in this crew, but he seems to be best at dying.  When a few more nice looking models are released from the Rising Powers set, I’ll be adding those.

I’ve also built some scrap counters to match my crew, since Ramos needs scrappy bits to convert into more spiders.  In the center is a treasure counter I modelled for Mordheim, that I’ve been using when the need arises in Malifaux.  Of course, I replace the Wyrdstone with Soulstones first.

I’m also painting a Perdita crew.  I’m very happy with the way her pants turned out, but she definitely has a face made for radio; luckily she keeps a hat over it.  Once again I started this crew with a full can of Army Painter dull varnish.  Unfortunately it’s hard to shake the can enough, which results in a semi-gloss finish at the beginning of the can, and an ultra-flat finish near the end of the can.

And here’s the star of our show: Francesco “Zappa” Ortega, aka The Grand Wazoo.  Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?

His cohorts may consider his shirt a bit flambouyant, but Francesco always uses the right tool for the job.

Papa Loco likes fire.  Heh.  Blow stuff up!

I still have a few more Ortegas to paint before I can field a full Guild crew.  I also have a Peacekeeper, because I like the big robots; and Samael Hopkins. I’ll post more pictures once they’re finished.